Friday, July 11, 2008

World's Hottest Chile (bhut jolokia) and a Triple Decker Strawberry Cake

I have heard very little about bhut jolokia. . .Ghost Peppers for us non-pepper literate people =). Then, the magazine Chile Pepper comes along and changes my world! I read an article by Jon Wipfli about the world's hottest pepper and how the taste is "ultra-clean, well-rounded, tongue-tingling delight . . ." (Wipfli, 2008) and will not leave my mind once I try the pepper. . .if I am a pepper person. To investigate this pepper, a website has been provided, going directly to the New Mexico State University Chile Pepper Institute for further education. The site is one of the few places a person can actually order Ghost chile seeds to plant his or her own plant. Otherwise, my search is limited to ordering a full plant and waiting 90 days for chilies. I am not prepared to grow a plant like the one pictured here. Instead, came to the rescue once again! A supplier called Rojos offers this: Dave's Insanity Ghost Pepper Private Reserve 2008 The First Seller To Bring You This Years Insane Reserve Sauce with the Guinness World Record Chile Pepper Bhut Jolokia .

I can not wait to try the Ghost Chile Pepper in a homemade Mayo that will give Simplicity and Boldness in the same bite. My chicken salad sandwich will take on new levels of heat and flavor!

Opening the truck door, and slowly getting out of a hot truck. . .with air conditioning that is blasting out of the air vents with semi-cold air, there is a realization that I HAVE BOXES WAITING FOR ME ON THE FRONT PORCH!!!!! CHRISTMAS in July. . .YAYYYYY! Okay, yes, I ordered the boxes but when each item is sealed up, happiness awaits in ripping the box open to see the wonderful new addition to my kitchen. If you haven't guessed, there was (2) boxes. One was Emeril Lagasse's 10-inch Saute pan that was received as a free gift for ordering his full set of shiny silver and copper pots and pans. The second was the Ghost Pepper sauce that I ordered 1 1/2 days ago! Talk about fast shipping. . .WoW! I think I will let the bottle age for a couple of days and then open it =D.

Nothing like the combination of "the" hottest pepper" AND a triple layer strawberry cake BUT I just have to share! I try to not use cake mixes since I can usually tell the difference but this cake is not your typical cake mix type of cake. Fresh strawberries are added to the mix along with flour, strawberry jello, eggs, sugar, milk, and vegetable oil. The frosting is very simple: fresh strawberries, butter, and powdered sugar. That is it! Easy and beautiful. The fresh strawberries naturally color the frosting a pretty medium pink with red little flecks. The flavor is phenomenal! The cake tastes fresh and homemade. . .

Triple-Decker Strawberry Cake

(adapted from Southern Living)


1 package white cake mix

1 (3-oz.) package strawberry jello

4 large eggs

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. finely chopped fresh strawberries

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. vegetable oil

1/3 c. all-purpose flour

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting


1 c. butter, softened

1 (32-ounce) package powdered sugar

1 c. finely chopped fresh strawberries

Directions for Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cake mix and next 7 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl, and beat at medium speed 2 more minutes, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. (Strawberries should be well blended.)

2. Pour batter into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 23 minutes or until cakes spring back when pressed lightly with a finger. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks, and let cool 1 hour or until cool completely.

4. Spread Strawberry Buttercream Frosting between layers and on top and on sides of cake.

Garnish with strawberries if desired. Serve immediately, or chill up to 1 week.

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting Directions:

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy (about 20 seconds). Add sugar and strawberries; beat at low speed until creamy. (Add more sugar if frosting is too thin, or add more strawberries if too thick.)

Pike's Place Market in Seattle, WA has a quaint little Italian market selling a wide variety of authentic Italian products and ingredients and hosting a huge fresh deli. My Mom and I discovered crystallized roses (real) and crystallized violets (also real) which we BOTH have been looking for on-line since our constant on foot searching has produced ZIP in the past! We both saw these at the same time and squealed in unison. I think the store clerk thought we were either both drunk or hurt. Either way, she stayed clear of us until we explained how excited we were about our new found treasures. I still feel giddy. . .

Wipfli, J. (2008, July). Love at First Bite. Chile Pepper, Vol. 22, No. 4, 10.

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